Sometimes, writing a media release about you and your business can be tough. How do you find something newsworthy?
Sure, when you’ve got a new product range launching or you’ve opened a new office or outlet, you’ve got plenty to shout about.
But what happens when you’ve seemingly got nothing to say? The following techniques can help you deliver that next story to the media.
Tips on how to write a media release
As of February 2020, 53% of Australians access news online and 52% access them through social media and blogs. That’s a huge chunk of your audience you can reach through writing a media release. With everyone glued to their mobile screens at home, you need to get out there and say something!
1. The 'Work Out Loud' Technique
Coined by John Stepper and loved by PR and media aficionados, the Work Outloud Technique encourages business owners to talk about their business as it happens.
Whether it’s by jotting down snippets on sequential post-it notes, on social media or via a good old fashioned verbal conversation, the discipline helps you to stay in tune with the little things.
By acknowledging the smaller goings-on in your business, you’re building stories worth telling. When you’re stuck for release ideas, you can draw upon these tales and craft content with a newsworthy spin.
2. The ‘Question Time’ Technique
When digging deep for content ideas, sometimes it helps to ask yourself some questions. Look within to find the answers, whether it’s from you, your business or your employees.
Here’s 10 questions to ask yourself that might spark the inspiration you need for a release that’s got ‘extra, extra’ written all over it:
- Are you releasing anything new, or have you recently?
- Have you got any insights on recent news or industry updates?
- Has anything in the external world happened that relates to your business or values?
- Is this your client's busy season? Have you got tips you could share?
- Is there a holiday coming up? Seasonal releases are always a bonus.
- Has a member of your team achieved something exciting, either at work or in their personal life?
- Do the public actually know what you do?
- Have you got an event coming up, or have you been to one recently?
- Has your business got any big plans for the coming months or years?
- Has another business done something that’s caught your eye?
3. The ‘Do Something’ Technique
Still got nothing? Dug deep but still unable to draw out tales for the media? In that case, you’ll have to get out there and create your own stories.
There’s plenty of activities you can do all in the name of getting your business out there, from attending events to getting creative and being a bit silly.
4. Ask your audience a question
Whether it’s on social media, on the streets or on your website, ask a question.
Simple engagement like this can lead you down the path of abstract content ideas that involve your target audience and make them feel a part of your brand. It happened recently to us, after one simple Facebook question.
5. Do something charitable
Businesses that work with charities not only benefit great causes, but generate stories that people want to hear.
Anything as simple as making a donation is worth telling your audience about. The charity gets exposure, and so do you!
If you’re up for more of a challenge, try holding a fundraiser or launching a campaign along the lines of Movember or Dry July.
6. Create an offer
Customers love a deal. Depending on your product or service, come up with an offer that’s intriguing, and that could yield new clients. Introductory offers often spark interest, or rewarding existing, loyal devotees is another angle.
7. Think of the seasons
Yes, the seasons. Spring, summer, autumn, winter. The holidays. EOFY. Christmas. The big events, the small local events. These will always bring something newsworthy for you and your brand. Seasonal offers. Seasonal expert advice.
Publish and offer something current and relatable. That’s what a newsworthy media release is.
8. Get creative. Push boundaries
Challenge the norm, or do something just plain unique that’s still on-brand. Things like offering a free coffee to anyone wearing yellow are infinitely newsworthy. Apart from that, doing something outrageous is what gets shared on social media. And45% of people on the planet are on social.
Melbourne burger chain, Mr Burger, promised free burgers for life for anyone who changed their name to ‘burger’ by deed poll.
While the news world went nuts for it, so did the Victorian Government, and the offer had to be withdrawn. So, by all means go crazy, but be smart at the same time.
9. Create a resource
Whipping up a downloadable resource, like a tip sheet, eBook or ‘how to’ guide is instantly worth spreading.
You’ll position your business as a thought leader in your field, and delight your customers at the same time, by rewarding them with a free serve of knowledge.
10. Host an event, seminar or webinar
Whether you’re an expert in accounting practices for small businesses, or you’re a barista boss, hold a virtual or real-time event for publicity.
Share your knowledge and communicate the benefits of attending through your media releases. The best bit? There’s content on every corner – in the lead up to the event, during, and a post-event follow up.
11. Launch a free, regular, online clinic
Promising one hour each week for free expert advice is enough-- that’s newsworthy! You’d be surprised at how many people you can help, and how many clients you can actually get from here! Just prepare a script for taking and giving information so you can streamline each call.
12. Set up a partnership
Joining forces with a brand or company that complements your values or product gets you attention from a number of angles.
You’ll tell the world, they’ll tell the world, and you can reference the partnership on your social channels, website and other media.
13. Behind the scenes
If you work from somewhere unusual, or you manufacture something intricate production process, allowing people to behind the scenes can be a way to drum up some stories.
Depending on what you do, the public might be interested in what goes on behind closed doors, or try reaching out to schools and educational institutions.
For example, if you make clothes from your studio, fashion and textiles courses may be keen to show their students an industry success story. Again, the two-way publicity will be great for your business.
14. Offer training or internship programs
Welcoming junior employees into your business for anything from a few days to a few months not only publicises your business with emergent media-ready stories, but benefits the economy and your field as well.
15. Go green
Aligning your business with current affairs and topics of public interest boosts your credibility and provides endless opportunities for release content.
Making small changes to reduce your business’ environmental footprint, like switching your manufacturing processes to be more eco-conscious, or simply reducing the amount of waste in your office are all stories the public will be interested in.
What about your news story?
Now that your mind is probably churning with ideas, you can use this release template library to help you get started. Have you incidentally come up with a killer release idea lately? Share your experience in the comments. And hey, stories about finding stories can even be newsworthy! Bonus!